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Friday, September 13, 2013

Yom Kippur – and Jesus
Yamacha.jpgYom Kippur – and Jesus... This coming Saturday is the Jewish Yom Kippur festival.

This is the holiest day of the year for our Jewish friends.

It is the day where we need to make amends for past deeds and seek to change our ways.

“Yom” in this context means day and “Kippur” means atonement. This is the day of atonement. It is a special Sabbath day. In Jewish tradition the books of record of the years fate are sealed on Yom Kippur and so there is much prayer for forgiveness of sins.

Generally in the ancient past, when the temple was in place, special observances occurred.(see Leviticus 16)

 

Tomorrow, as a Christian what might we do?

 In simple terms, ... the same event is applicable to our lives.
 

Jesus came as the sacrifice, and paid the price for sin, in so doing he set us free, but nonetheless, it would be a respectful gesture to God, and to others, to observe this day with the core principles that God introduced in the past observances and with christian values that Jesus would want us to continue with today.


That is, we could focus the day on...

1.   Prayer
2.   Seeking to turn away from what we have doing that God would have not wanted us doing
3.   Giving to charity.

In this way we can join with our Jewish friends in making our world a better place and respecting God’s greatness.

Maybe instead of looking at differences we could all understand that we all fall short of God’s favour and respect His love for us but respecting others and helping them.

Let’s make that a focus this weekend?
Fri, September 13, 2013 | link          Comments

Thursday, September 12, 2013

“Failures” advance science, mankind’s progress or God’s intervention?
Einstein.jpg“Failures” advance science, mankind’s progress or God’s intervention?

How many people believe science is completely driven forward by the power of the human mind with the support of previous work, logic, impeccable skill and straight hard work?

Put enough of these together and it explains anything from the past and drives us into the future.

Is this true?

Can we really say it is our own hard work that has got us where we are today?

Consider the following…

Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection lacked an adequate account of inheritance, making it logically incomplete![1] In other words, in it’s formative stage it was wrong. It could not show Mendelian ratios. It needed knowledge of DNA and how that replicates to fully describe it. Darwin understood that evolution depends on the existence of inheritable differences within a species but hit on the WRONG idea for the variations. During Darwin’s lifetime the direct evidence was missing. So a great idea that is useful nowadays was built on wrong constructs.

William Thomson (Lord Kelvin) calculated the age of the Earth to be between 20 million and 400 million years old and then comfortably settled on between 20 and 40million years old. He was a devote Christian all his life and centered his argument on the cooling since creation. His theory was wrong, but his laws of thermodynamics (1st and 2nd) form the baseline of most university courses and unified the physics of the time. A total mis-appropriation of his calculation did not stop him being honored and his name given to our basic heat measure (we measure heat in Kelvins in the scientific community of today)

Fred Hoyle, the man who coined the phrase “Big Bang” and was one of Britain’s top mathematicians and astronomers spent years propounding a steady state theory for the universe. Yet his very failure to correctly explain this, led to the people investigating and calculating the age of the universe to the generally accepted age of 13.7 to 13.8 billion years.

Albert Einstein invented a cosmological constant to help his theory and had it represent the energy density of space. Yet it was wrong! He abandoned this theory in 1928 after Hubble proved that distant galaxies were expanding away from each other. Yet in both cases he was wrong. The universe didn’t need it at the time of Hubble based on what could be known, and now, based on 1998 discoveries it needs to be re-introduced in a somewhat different form, to add a small acceleration into the ongoing expansion.

Lee de Forest jumped to the conclusion as he worked on wireless technology that a spark he was generating was modifying a gas flame at the far end of his lab and that somehow electrical sparks could use gas as an amplifier. He inserted two electrodes into a gas bulb, then added a third one that was bent and amplified audio signals. He incorrectly believed the gas was the key until they finally did it in a vacuum and it worked BETTER. He invented the Audion or first triode vacuum tube which founded the field of electronics! Yet it was based on a mistake and wrong assumption.

Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in a botched scientific experiment. He was investigating a bacteria but in his untidy laboratory found a fungus had grown and where it had grown had killed off his bacteria cultures. His mould juice went on to save millions of lives. All brought about by a mistake!

Louis Daguerre was both an artist and physicist. He was trying to make photographs with bitumen (which took camera exposures of days). He found photographic images by accidentally having fumes from mercury next to some failed experiments and seeing it produced an almost perfect image. This triggered the start of more sophisticated photography.

Then a guy by the name of Wilson Greatbatch in setting up electrical circuits for early oscilloscopes picked up the wrong resistor[2] and on seeing its properties concluded it would work to make a heart pacemaker. He followed his mistake to invent this piece of equipment that would save many lives.

Mistakes take science forward.


How many of these mistakes were really a mistake?

 Could not God have introduced ideas and the drives into people’s hearts that led them to find truth despite an apparent failure?

Is it not possible these mistakes that led us forward were engineered by a higher power that has the good of mankind as an objective.

Is it not possible God sent Jesus so that our greatest mistake, that of nailing him to a cross to attempt to kill God, would fail and bring about our ability to reach heaven?

God is great, if we respect that fact. He turns failures into success.

Doesn’t the bible say in psalm 37

The Lord makes firm the steps
of the one who delights in him;
24 though he may stumble, he will not fall,
for the Lord upholds him with his hand.

How about we ask him to do that for us today?


[1] B. Charlesworth,D Charlesworth,  Darwin and Genetice, http://www.genetics.org/content/183/3/757.full
[2] Where Good ideas come from- Steven Johnson.
Thu, September 12, 2013 | link          Comments

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Can we be “good” enough to get into heaven?
Abuelita.JPGCan we be “good” enough to get into heaven?

“When we are happy we are always good, but when we are good we are not always happy.” ~ Oscar Wilde

“I’m not perfect, but I’m pretty good”

“I am considerate and kind, that counts for something doesn’t it?”

“I look after my aging parents, that’s enough to get a person into heaven!”

“I’m a forgiving person, I don’t hold grudges, I’ve gotta go to heaven!”

These statements reflect a lot of views about how good people have done enough to get to heaven, and they are wrong!

My heart gets torn up when I go to Tijuana each year to build houses for the poor and tell them of Jesus love. This destitute community we go to lives on the outskirts of that big Mexican city (it’s actually in Tecate on the Baja Peninsula, to be exact).

Every year we meet someone who is getting on in years and by the creases and wrinkles in their faces, we see they have endured many tough times and worldly woes. We often get talking to them and frequently ask why they would be allowed into heaven.

The sad answers these people give us are often based on a belief that if they work real hard, give money to their church and confess to the priest, then they will go to heaven.

Yet, when we really ask them to explain if they believe this, many of them break down and start to cry.

Why?

They know that if they are to be truthful, then they are not good enough!

They have seen a glimpse of God’s holiness, but don’t yet understand his grace.

They are aware God is great, magnificent, but are not aware of how he makes it possible for them to know they will be able to go to heaven.

We often explain to them there is no way they could ever do enough good things to get into heaven. To go into heaven means we need to be perfect and none of us are. That’s the bad news!

The good news is God knew that and although mighty and just, he is also loving. He does not expect we will be perfect and only wants us to do the best we can. Jesus came to earth to make the difference and because he died in our place, covering of the charges that sin created, our sin’s debt is paid.

We are counted as perfect!

It’s not our good works that count towards us getting into heaven, it’s Jesus good work!

Our response to Jesus is one of love, respect and adoration.

The love, respect and adoration is why we also try to help others and love others like he did. Holy Spirit who comes to live within us guides us to help others, but that’s not what gets us into heaven.

Nothing we do, other than accepting Jesus as our saviour, the son of God and being willing to say to others we believe this, makes the difference.

The bible says "God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son. Anyone who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life." John 3:16

also "Say with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord." Believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead. Then you will be saved."
Romans 10:9


This means if you see someone who is straining to give more money than they can afford to the church and others, remind them Jesus is not to be bought. God’s ultimate gift is freely given!

If you see people who think they are too bad to every get into heaven, remind them Jesus took thieves to heaven with him once they accepted him and rejected their bad life.

If you see people who think they are so good they can get into heaven remind them Jesus told a good rich man called Nicodemus who devoted his life to God, that the only way to heaven was to be born again and follow Jesus.

Nobody is good enough except Jesus, but with Jesus we are all good enough to go to heaven!

Amazing isn’t it?
Tue, September 10, 2013 | link          Comments

Monday, September 9, 2013

Let’s have a glad day!
SquirrelAndChipmunk.jpgLet’s have a glad day!

“Our brightest blazes of gladness are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks.” ~ Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson was a man who suffered from Tourette syndrome.

This causes the person to have persistent bouts of tics and is probably best known for sometimes causing the person to use obscene or socially inappropriate remarks.

Yet despite this affliction  he created on of the first English dictionaries as well as poems and other essays and writings.

He had a faith in God and I think understood the joy of God’s presence in his life.

We all want to have joy and gladness in our lives don’t we. One of the simplest ways of finding gladness is to consider what God has done for us. Casting our mind over the many wonderful and various ways God has blessed not only us, but all of this world, can make us understand our blessings and from that, not matter what our circumstances, comes gladness.

Who has not appreciated the joy of spring after a hard winter?

Similarly we can appreciate the escape from sin after a time of trial. We can give God thanks for friends and friendship.

For the smile of a new born baby,

For the glory of a crisp new morning,

For the soft mist that flows down off the fields feeding the plants,

For the stars that light up the canopy of Heaven,

For the smile lighting up an elderly persons face when we visit,

For the appreciate of a job to go to,

For a great cup of coffee in the morning,

For a chance to walk in the fresh air and stretch those limbs after sitting all day,

For the opportunity to watch that squirrel or chipmunk enjoying the morning air,

For the opportunity to talk with God.

Let’s look for the glories of God around us and appreciate them. With this we inject gladness into our lives and in so doing change our days to step one step closer to that of our loving God. We release Holy Spirit to do just that little more for us today.

That’s the way to go isn’t it? Let’s let the unexpected sparks light up our day!
Mon, September 9, 2013 | link          Comments


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Rift in Evil

By Ken X Briggs

  • Published: September, 2010
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This suspense thriller centers on Kiara, a beautiful young woman pursued by a murderous group of people, who relentlessly and ruthlessly hunt her and her sisters. Kiara has no idea why she is being targeted! When Kiara and her family turn to the law for help, this fails. Her pursuers’ powers reach deeply into the political and law enforcement world. Family support for her dwindles when they too have to flee her pursuers. Can Kiara escape the clutches of both the law and dishonest big business? With the media broadcasting that Kiara and friends are dangerous and subversive, can Kiara clear her name and bring her pursuers to justice?

 

 
  

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 RiftInEvil.gifThe town of Zinaville is dropped into a spiral of evil causing a young man and a beautiful but abused woman to launch into an investigation that unveils an evil conspiracy.

A horrific mining accident results in Joshua Robyn's father being killed. Joshua struggles both with himself and his townsfolk as he tries to make sense of an incomprehensible situation. Is it an accident or a murder? Why is there a seeming link to evil? Why is his work environment suddenly threatening? What is the conspiracy about and what are they trying to do? As action moves dramatically from exotic African grasslands to the heart of North America's cities, the plot unfolds and the pace quickens. Will there be time? Why is a beautiful abused young woman in the center of this plot?

Evil tendrils tighten on their lives and the interplay between the visible and invisible world shows opposing forces at work.

Will there be a rift in evil?

Will they be able to stop the evil in time?

 

 

 
Click here to order Rift in Evil (ebook or Paper available)
  • Published: September, 2010
  • Format: Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)
  • Pages: 208
  • Size: 6x9
  • ISBN: 9781450250894 

Available from Barnes and Noble, Amazon, iUniverse. Chapters

 
  
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